5 top businesses default again despite loan restructure

Five top businesses that received special loan restructure facilities, have fallen into default again.

Instead of paying the installments of their defaulted loans, they are now seeking fresh loans and interest exemption.

A total of Tk 150 billion in loans of ten top businesses were restructured on the excuse of political instability in 2015.

Five of them have become defaulters again.

The banks are unable to take any legal action as the defaulters have resorted to the court. It has been difficult to recover the loans.

Although the loans were restructured in 2015, the first payments of the three-month installments began in December 2016.

The time for payment of the three installments of these five groups has lapsed.

It has now gone into default again due to failure of payment of two installments in a row.

According to the banks, Beximco Group, MR Group, SA Group, Ratanpur Group and Keya Group are not paying the installments. Some of them are trying for further facilities.

The names of these groups appear on the list of loan defaulters.

The facility of loan restructure was given following a proposal of the vice chairman of Beximco Group Salman F Rahman, adviser for private sector development of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

On 5 August 2014, Salman made a proposal to the Bangladesh Bank to restructure all loans of Beximco Group. He claimed the business hadn’t ben able to operate due to political instability.

As per the proposal, the loan payment will begin after two and half years, and will end in 2026. The interest of the loan will be 10 per cent.

Other businesses raised the same demand. The Bangladesh Bank issued a policy of loan restructure on 29 January 2015. Those with defaulted loans above Tk 5 billion, would be given the facility.

Loans of the defaulters are usually rescheduled after a certain amount is deposited. The businesses were not interested to reschedule in compliance with conditions. As a result, the loan restructure facilities were given so that the pressure to deposit cash was relaxed.

Although the loan restructure facility was given as per proposal of Salman F Rahman, his group of companies is not paying the installments. According to the banks, Salman F Rahman has been a defaulter repeatedly since the eighties.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank Khandker Ibrahim Khaled said, “Bangladesh Bank is not an independent organisation. Under the pressure of a businessman who is close to the government, BB was compelled to provide this facility. At that time we had said this money would not be recovered. This has proven to be true now.”

According to the banks, Beximco Group received loan restructure facilities for Tk 5.6 billion but did not pay installments.

SA Group got loan restructure facilities for Tk 9.3 billion and M R Group for Tk 5.7 billion, but they did not pay either.

The Risk Management Committee of Agrani Bank has decided to give final notice to Beximco Group. Steps will be taken to bring the mortgage deposit of the group under the bank. The group has dues of Tk 4.1 crore owed to the bank.

Managing director of Agrani Bank Shams-Ul Islam told Prothom Alo that the Risk Management Committee had taken a number of decisions.

“I talked to all who had taken loan restructure facilities. They want to pay, but they want different facilities. Some want fresh loans and some want to write off interest,” he said.

Agrani Bank has given a legal notice to Julia Sweater and MR Sweater of MR Group as the installments of Tk 1.84 billion were not given. The bank has decided to file case against two business organisations.

The bank has dues of Tk 0.36 billion to Keya Yarn of Keya Group. As the installment was not paid, the bank will issue legal notice.

SA Oil and Samannaj Super Oil of SA Group take restructure loan facility of Tk 1.15 billion. For non-compliance of conditions, the facility was not effective. Janata Bank restructures loan facility of Tk 1.13 billion of SA Group. The loan has been defaulted as the installments are not paid.

The proprietor of SA Group and also director of Mercantile Bank Shahabuddin Alam told Prothom Alo that only loan restructure facilities alone will not yield any results. Fresh loan facilities will have to be provided.

“I have applied to BB for loan facilities. Tk 150 billion will not be recovered unless fresh loan is given,” he added.

Janata Bank restructured the loan of Tk 3.78 billion of BR Spinning of M R Group and the loan of Tk 4.80 billion of Modern Still of Ratanpur Group. None of the groups paid any installment.

Managing director of Janata Bank Abdus Salam told Prothom Alo that some are not paying installments after getting loan restructure facilities. They are contacting BB for fresh facilities.

According to the banks, six banks restructured loans of Tk 9.28 billion of SA Oil Refinery and Samannaj of SA Group. Of the amount, First Securities Bank restructures highest Tk 2.99 billion. Besides, Bank Asia restructures Tk 2.55 billion and Janata Tk 1.14 billion. They are not paying the installments.

Three banks restructured loans of Tk 8.12 billion of Ratanpur Group. Of the amount, Janata Bank restructured Tk 4.80 billion and Sonali Bank Tk 2.75 billion.

Khandker Ibrahim Khaled said as per rule, the loan will turn defaulted if two installments are not paid. Cases can be filed in the bankruptcy court.

He said the banks should take such action. Bangladesh Bank should compel the banks to implement it, Khaled suggested.

According to BB, 20 groups applied for restructure of loans. Ten groups got approval of loan restructure of Tk 150 billion.

Others that got loan restructure facilities are Jamuna, Thermax, Sikder, Abdul Momen and Enntex.

Source: Prothom Alo

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